Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rebuilding A Character

Rebuilding a character can be hard but worth it. In my experience it happens under a select few circumstances. 1) Something about the build is broken and needs to be fixed. 2) Something about the build is prohibiting fun and needs to be fixed. 3) New rules have come out allowing better options for representing what the character should have. Those aren't the only reasons to rebuild a character, but they are the ones I see the most. Today I want to talk about rebuilding, and some things to keep in mind when you do bring a character back into the forge.

Identity Preservation
One of the first things to keep in mind when reforging a character is to remember that you are doing just that. You are reforging the character, not making a new character. Because of this it's important to preserve the identity of the character. If you can't preserve the identity you may as well just bring someone new in.

Now, I'll be the first person to tell you that the heart of a character is more than just their mechanics, but mechanics do play into it. For example...

What Does The Character Do?
I don't need to know everything about what a character does to rebuild it, but the core items. What are the 2-3 big things the character is known for? Those things should be preserved. If numerous sessions have featured your character using the Computers skill to hack and bypass electronic security, after the rebuild you shouldn't have zero ability with computers.

By the same token a combat character should remain a combat character. A face should remain a face. And so on down the line. How much of the character is focused that way can change, and how the character is focused that way can change, but the core sense should stay the same.

As a note, if the problem you're trying to fix is that your character does too much stuff than you will be trimming some of that fat. That's why I said to focus on 2-3 things you do. Keep it focused and you should find more enjoyment in being able to flex muscles in aspects of the game.

Concept Counts
Rebuilding is a great time to look at the core concept of the character. Does it still fit who they are in play? Can you make it simpler? More refined? In working on one of my characters I've gone from a list of various job descriptions to two words "Tinkerer" and "Daredevil." Those two words do better to encapsulate who the character is at heart than anything else, and so while looking through ways to envision the character if I can hold onto those aspects - and the 2-3 key things the char does - I should be close to what was in the game while still being something different.

Change Is Ok
A lot of this is focused on keeping things the same, but don't forget you are rebuilding the character for a reason and that reason is likely because you are dissatisfied with some aspect of the character. Don't be afraid to change things. Don't be afraid to change everything. Just talk it over with the GM first. Nothing says your Gnome Fighter has to stay a fighter, or a gnome, through a rebuild if the GM is ok with that changing and it'll make you happier with the character.

Make Something Fun
Above all, make sure what you end up with is going to be fun for you to play and for others to play with. Rebuilds give you a chance to really refine a character into their role in the group, so take advantage of that. Don't be the guy who builds in more conflict points with the party. Instead, try to smooth that out and give everyone - including yourself - more chances to shine.

No comments:

Post a Comment